SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - SEPTEMBER 08: Referee Matt Cecchin is seen during the NRL Elimination Final match between the Penrith Panthers and the New Zealand Warriors at ANZ Stadium on September 8, 2018 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt Blyth/Getty Images)

The NRL could be on the way to eliminating forward passes for good, with technology currently being trialed which would automatically detect one of the sport's biggest problem areas.

It only takes one look at social media each weekend throughout the course of the season to know what a vast majority of fans think about forward passes.

Plenty get missed from week to week and, while the refereeing group have been regularly shouted down by fans, technology has not yet been forthcoming.

That is, until now.

According to, the NRL is now entering the late stages of trials with ball-tracking technology which has the potential to eliminate forward pass errors, but also allow other possibilities.

The NRLW competition has already been using the balls this season, with the UK-based company Sportable creating them for use.

The report states that the balls are implanted with technology that only weighs a few grams.

Sportable chief technology officer, Peter Husemeyer, said that the balls virtually have a 3D radar in them.

"We literally have a device for tracking them in 3D like radar," Husemeyer says.

"We know its exact position at every moment in time. Then we add to that the accelerometer and the gyroscope and the magnetometer.

"Using that real time data, we're able to infer the angle of the passer's hands as the ball leaves the hands," Husemeyer adds.

"If the player is running and their hands are angled sideways, the ball can still float forward with momentum but it's actually a flat pass."

He confirmed the technology can track which passes came backwards out of the hands, as opposed to those which are actually forward passes.

The NRL's head of football, Graham Annesley, said how the technology will be implemented into the NRL once complete is still a discussion in progress.

"That's the final component, we have to decide how and when to use it," Annesley says.

"Our game is based on continuity. We don't want to be pulling up things that don't look like forward passes and causing unnecessary stoppages.

"We need to develop policies for its use that won’t unduly interfere with the flow of the game and the entertainment value for fans.

"For example: should we only use it in try-scoring movements, or throughout the entire game? My gut feel is we would probably apply a similar process for forward passes as we currently do for other bunker decisions.

"Do we really want to be stopping a game for a pass that's going one or two degrees forward or are we looking more for the ones that are 10 or 15 degrees forward —ultimately these are policy decisions for the Commission to determine."

It's understood the NRL are not seeing live data for the NRLW, with it not impacting the games at all, and it will be discussed at the conclusion of the season, of which semi-finals will be played this weekend.